Human Rights, Human Wrongs

Dave Rowntree

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It is 20 years in the past immediately that the primary Human Rights Day celebrated the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

An enormous amount has been achieved since then in lots of nations around the globe, but not every thing has modified for the higher.

The 20th yr of Human Rights Day can also be the 45th yr of the imprisonment of Hakamada Iwao, a former Japanese professional boxer who was arrested following the brutal homicide of the manager of the manufacturing unit where he labored, along together with his wife and youngsters.

After arrest, Hakamada was held for almost 3 weeks with out access to a lawyer. After what he says have been strings of beatings and threats, Hakamada lastly signed a confession, which he later retracted.

At trial, all but one of many 45 paperwork stated by the prosecution to be confessions have been found to have been pressured. Despite this, and the shortage of some other evidence towards him, Hakamada was found guilty, and sentenced to demise.

Kumamoto Norimichi, one of many judges at his trial resigned shortly afterwards, in his phrases “unable to bear the burden of conscience” of passing the sentence on such scant evidence.

Hakamada has remained on demise row ever since, and underneath Japanese regulation he may be executed at any time. He's now 74.

I have been to Japan many occasions, and for me, the distinction between the peaceful, lovely Japanese individuals, and the barbarism of the demise penalty couldn't be more acute.

After 45 years in jail, much of it in solitary confinement, Hakamada Iwao has the prospect of a retrial. To help make this occur, please signal Amnesty International’s petition.

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